Dr. Lew Rockwell, Fellows of the LvMI, and LRC Contributors,
With this letter, I may be bordering on Hagi-blography, but so be it. Dr. Lew Rockwell and his freedom fighters at LRC and the Mises Institute have reshaped the Empire of Lies with the Chisel of Truth. Even treason it may be deemed, but Dr. Rockwell would doubtlessly point to Spooner’s “No Treason” to refute that dubious assertion; reminding us of the fact that perception is most certainly not reality. Lew Rockwell through the Mises Institute, LRC, and countless colleagues and contributors, helps to spread the message of human freedom to the widest audience in history.
How are we supposed to thank these people? All we have are our own experiences and the internet. Luckily, today that is all you need. This letter will attempt to highlight the contributions of these men and women in a personal fashion. This letter sincerely represents how you all have enhanced the cause of freedom in our lives. We appreciate the diligence with which you execute the enlightening of us all.
The framing of the intellectual foundation of the Ron Paul Revolution began with the writings of both Mises and Rothbard. These scholarly giants are often mentioned together, but what frequently goes without notice is the obvious disagreement between the two. These two men truly encapsulate the libertarian divide between minarchists and anarchists. These two men also respected each other greatly. They were considered allies in the cause for human freedom.
As Dr. Thomas E. Woods points out, there is a faction of “free market” thinkers that willfully avoid Rothbard. This is entirely at their peril. The incredible popularity of Ron Paul and his revolution have nothing to do with the charisma of the messenger. The message is popular because it is based on the intellectual consistency of Mises, Rothbard, and the scholars at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Many Ron Paul revolutionaries and supporters of libertarianism do not even recognize the full extent of which their beliefs are based on the work of these men and women. That is a testament to the supreme effectiveness that this message of freedom is being spread.
Lew Rockwell, Walter Block, Thomas Woods, Hans Herman Hoppe, David Gordon, Jeffrey Herbener, Gerard Casey, Mark Thornton, Joseph Salerno, Andrew Napolitano, Karen DeCoster, Ralph Raico, Floy Lilley, Gary North, Butler Shaffer, Laurence Vance, Jeffrey Tucker, Stephan Kinsella, and Becky Akers are only a few of the names that help promote this message.
I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you. I have no way of knowing the original motivation behind LRC and the Mises Institute. If one goal was to promote a new generation of Austrian thinking liberty minded people, consider that Mission, Accomplished. For this, we thank you all.
- the Humane Condition, @AdamBlacksburg
LvMI and LRC Readers*** If you would like to co-sign this letter, please comment below or e-mail me at tHCondition@gmail.com.
The following are some expressions of Gratitude for LRC and the Mises Institute, please e-mail your own to tHCondition@gmail.com :
“Dr. Floy Lilley helped me research a paper for school regarding the creation of Federal Reserve. She was readily willing to share her incredible amount of information on the topic, and she pointed me in the right direction for the rest of my research. Without her help, there would be one less Austrian style critique of the Federal Reserve in our Universities, and I would certainly not have gained the amount of information necessary to understand the ‘Creature’ without her help…”
“I was never satisfied with any philosophy that was based on a bunch of rules about right and wrong, or that seemed in conflict with natural human behavior. And that seemed to rule out every philosophy I looked into. Then, via the huge library of free materials available at http://mises.org/Literature , I came to read Murray Rothbard’s amazing masterwork “Man, Economy, and State, with Power and Market”. Starting with a simple moral truth embodied in the Non-Aggression Principle, and with a simple economic truth, that all value is relative and individual, Rothbard laid out a comprehensive, and in all ways consistent, social and economic vision that blew me away.
In addition to mises.org, LewRockwell.com has been invaluable to my continuing education. Truly understanding philosophic and economic principles requires learning whether, and how, they apply in the real-world. The daily articles and blogs by the LRC contributors provide that necessary reality check.
I honestly don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the light of libertarianism starts at LvMI/LRC and radiates out to the world.”
– a Veresapiens @Veresapiens
“I had my “aha!” moment in 2008 during the presidential elections. I talked to my father about contenders that election cycle, and mentioned I was for Rudy Giuliani. He frowned at this and handed me a “Texas Straight Talk” by Ron Paul. I was so surprised that one man expressed all things I knew to be true, yet did not have the means to express them myself. Very quickly, I was drawn into reading LRC and Mises.org every day.
In fact, I was so inspired by what these men stood for, that I changed my major to Economics and started writing for my school newspaper. In just 4.5 years, I’ve changed from being an ill-informed neocon supporting a puppet like Giuliani to a full-fledged anarcho-capitalist and am now capable of defending the foundations of a free society absent of government intrusion very well.
LRC and the Mises institute have provided me an intellectual debt so great I cannot really describe it. It has literally changed my life for the better.”
– Redditor “ThundaStome“
“I came onto the scene of LRC a bit reluctant. I suppose you could have called me a libertarian but I was hesitant about the site itself due to the “anti-war” slogan at the top. I was always taught war was a necessary evil and anyone who disagreed with the military or its actions were simply unpatriotic. LRC with its countless articles helped me understand my logical inconsistencies and showed me a superior way of thinking. I was thoroughly attracted to the logic based theories and thoughts. I have always thought my being a Christian would hinder my ability to fully accept anarchism (primarily because of the extremely negative connotations associated with it). After a time of reading books the authors on the site recommended and doing a lot of trying to prove anarchism to be a flawed ideology, I realized freedom was the ultimate answer and I have since come to embrace the fact that I hate the state as well as being an anarcho-capitalist. Now I have been blessed with the opportunity to write for a couple of local newspapers discussing my beliefs and I get quite a kick out of it.”
– Redditor “AnCapJake“
“I discovered LRC, Mises, and Rothbard via Ron Paul approximately eight years ago. I started reading books, I added iTunes U/podcasts and then classes. Starting Mises’ readings, I realized I did not understand History and needed to do much more research, so I added global history. Reading the Mises Institute’s books, I realized my economics were slightly off. I was Cato Institute supporter, but gained more insights from the LvMI. I was a Republican until 2003 when I began to realize both parties were essentially the same… I would add that I read Ayn Rand extensively prior to discovering Mises. Mises clarified more critical points on Human Nature. Part of my prior job was consumer research around the globe. Human Action brought clarity to my professional observations. The Mises Institute and LRC live the principles, giving away information to help us educate ourselves. They are a guide/coach to help you think for yourself.”
– (Cato the Younger) @CatoLetters
“I didn’t want to be An-Cap, but my friends at Mises.org kept making An-Cap arguments in their discussion groups. It really frustrated me that in my mind that I could not prove them wrong, because I really wanted to believe in the constitution, limited government and the founding fathers. Meanwhile, people on other blogs would make arguments like “why should the government do the police, and not welfare” … and they were easy enough to answer as a libertarian, but because of the influence, I started to answer them more like an anarcho capitalist. Doing so was so intellectually liberating. Before then I kept swinging between libertarian and libertarian-republican as my mind tried to reconcile the role of government and freedom, but after that, I became solidly a part of the An-Cap camp. I always associated anarchists with terrorists, and even now I prefer be called anarcho capitalist or extreme libertarian. It took me awhile to understand that anarchy could mean without rulers, but not without law … even though to others it still means without law. Also, to understand that law is more than edicts written on parchment by fat ass bureaucrats.
Another great thing that the LvMI and specifically Stephan Kinsella did was “mainstream” the anti-IP movement. I had known for a while that IP was fake, and anti-free market, and that was a very lonely belief to have in the mid-90′s. I was called a communist! Not any more, they have freed me of that yoke. In addition, the LvMI practices what they preach, and the intellectual contribution they made by making copies of all their literature available freely is eternal if you ask me. IMHO, nothing has done more to push the freedom movement over the top in the information age, and even more importantly turn it into a movement that is based on education/services, and not book royalties.
Everywhere you turn, there are links to LRC or LvMI. You can nail down opponents of liberty on almost any issue. It has radically altered the landscape of online debate in all political topics. When I was young there was ABC, NBC, and CBS, that was it, and they spewed out socialism all day long. Anybody who questioned the statist dogma was considered alone and crazy. Well, not any more. Libertarians and An-Caps are flourishing and growing at an extremely rapid pace. LvMI is the tip of the spear.
Also, LvMI helps people in the real world. IMHO, it should be mandatory schooling for professional investors. They helped me figure out to start buying gold like crazy at $450/oz and silver at $7/oz. I did extremely well while my friends got killed with housing. We’re not talking bullshit theories here, were talking real world results, and real money. Who knows how many other people have had their ass saved by LvMI.”
– Redditor “argoff“
“Someone informed me of all the eBooks free for download on LvMI’s website, and I downloaded “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth” Finding it very difficult to parse (being from 1920), when I finished it I realized Mises was a prophetic genie.”
– Redditor “Patrick5555″
“I was very skeptical and mistrusting of LvMI upon my first encounters with it. I mistakenly believed that it was yet another organization formed for the conducting of “independent studies” on behalf of politicians and special interests. I have never been so happy to be so wrong. You have provided me with the tools I need to understand the world around me and all of human history, no expression of gratitude can ever compensate for that, it is a gift beyond measure.”
In Liberty, with Gratitude and Admiration,
Time went on and I read more books by von Mises and Rothbard. Technology changed and the internet was born. In due course a new resource opened up. Lew Rockwell started a small site to showcase essays by anarcho-capitalists and other like minded people. It was there that I learned about the Mises Institute.
The Mises Institute has become the world’s foremost think tank for liberty. It is as simple as that. The Institute did not change my thinking as I was already a Rothbardian market anarchist long before they opened their doors, but it is a place where I can read essays, books and out of print newsletters concerning our love of freedom and liberty. In addition they have all sorts of videos for those that like that sort of thing — I am still a text based person in most regards.
The Mises Institute has kept the flame of Rothbardian anarchy burning even as Rothbard and his beloved teacher von Mises have both left this earthly scene. I praise Lew Rockwell for starting the Institute when most men would have told him he was sure to fail I bet.
I wish the Mises Institute had been around in the 70s, it sure would have helped my intellectual journey. Today, I often use a link to the Mises Institute in my own posts here and that helps me a lot. I was worried that when we lost both von Mises and Rothbard that the movement might die, but with the Mises Institute and two campaigns by Ron Paul our beliefs have gone nationwide as ZZ Top would say. Well, worldwide really.
We have a long battle before us to educate the masses in economics and political philosophy so that we can overcome the long march toward collectivism. The Mises Institute is a rock we can depend on as we battle the forces of tyranny.”
– Mark Stoval, @MarkStoval, markstoval.wordpress.com